Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - January 2008

Well, it’s the start of a great new year! This is the perfect time to get some housekeeping items in order. I don’t know about you, but I find January to be the perfect month for cleaning out the old to make way for the new. New resolutions, new stuff from your recent holiday celebrations, new goals, and new opportunities. This is also a convenient time to perform an annual inspection of some of your mission critical business systems.

One of the items at the top of your check list should be data backup. We receive support calls every month from customers who are in the midst of some very real disasters: hard disk failure, computer viruses, employee vandalism, theft, or natural disaster. Taking a few simple steps to protect your TimeClock data can mean the difference between minor inconvenience and major payroll hassles. Despite our best efforts, we can’t help you restore data that no longer exists!

If you’re not backing up your TimeClock data, then shame on you! The new year is a great time for resolutions. Resolve to take a few minutes and start a regular backup routine today. If you’re already backing up your TimeClock data, great! In either case, please take a few minutes to consider a couple of important questions regarding data backups:

How regularly are you backing up?
Unless the backup is fast and easy, it’s tempting to get out of the backup habit. Virtual TimeClock Pro allows backups to be done manually or scheduled to run automatically. Both are lightening fast and result in very small backup files since we utilize the latest compression techniques. Manual backups are as easy as choosing Backup from the File menu, choosing your backup folder destination, clicking the Backup button, and waiting a few seconds for confirmation that the backup was successful.

The Schedule backup tab allows you to easily select where and when you want unattended backups to occur. You also get to decide how many backup files you want to keep around, just in case...

Here’s a quick Tip:
Use the Schedule backup utility to create a periodic backup of your TimeClock data directly to your main file server. Then your regular backup software will successfully backup the data archive for you.

Are you checking your backup logs?
Unlike a manual backup, scheduled backups are unattended and therefore success or failure dialogs are not displayed to the end user. The Virtual TimeClock Pro backup logs will give you a full accounting of attempted and successful backups. Just choose Program Logs from the Window menu. Get into the habit of verifying your automatic backups by checking the logs every day. The peace of mind from knowing your daily backup was successful is well worth the little bit of extra effort.

Here’s a quick Tip:
When you access the backup log, Virtual TimeClock Pro will automatically scroll to the most recent entry so checking the success of a scheduled backup is a breeze.

How does the Virtual TimeClock backup work?
Virtual TimeClock Pro automatically takes care of all of the vital details for you. When you perform a backup, Virtual TimeClock Pro closes the open data file, shuts down the database engine, performs the data backup, then

restarts the database engine and reopens your data file for you. This all happens so quickly that a backup is hardly noticeable even on a very active Virtual TimeClock Pro server that is maintaining hundreds of client TimeClock connections.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If you’re relying on some other backup software to safeguard your TimeClock data, remember that most backup software will automatically skip all open files. If Virtual TimeClock Pro is running when an external backup program performs a backup, the program will quite probably skip your open data file. You will have no backup at all for your TimeClock data!

Maintenance and Support Enrollment
In closing, I’d like to offer one final tip. If you receive this ‘Tips & Tricks’ Newsletter it’s because you’re currently enrolled in our software Maintenance and Support program. This means more than just free technical support whenever you need it. We routinely talk with customers who are running older versions of Virtual TimeClock Pro. Your Maintenance and Support enrollment entitles you to FREE upgrades of Virtual TimeClock Pro as well as FREE technical support. It’s so easy to make sure you always have the latest and best release of Virtual TimeClock Pro, so take advantage of your membership!

Software download: Time Clock Software Downloads
Upgrade instructions: Time Clock Software Upgrades

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow